I was asked the question, “Does Jerry’s career connect with George Jung?” Jung was the subject of the book, BLOW, a story about cocaine and the Medellin Cartel. The book was interesting, the movie more, and Jung had some parallels with Jerry’s career, but while Jung tried to act “bad,” Jerry was bad. He was also more efficient. That was my answer to this man in the prison waiting room. Jerry was an efficient businessman that no one wanted to cross. He wasn’t mean spirited, or malicious, but he had a code of honor that he held to, and he made it clear to everyone. As I interviewed people who had been around him, or worked for him, that’s what I came away with.
Jerry had an ingenious business model for smuggling cocaine. Once the plane landed somewhere in the southeast, the coke would be loaded into cars for delivery to south Florida. The entourage included a wrecker driven by a skilled mechanic, in case one of the cars had trouble, and a man with a fast car. This man, if a car happened to be pulled over by the police, would race by the cop to draw his attention, perhaps even stage a wreck, just to get the cop to leave. Then, the drug car would get “out of Dodge.” It was brilliant.
Some of the parallels between Jung and Jerry are the associations with cartel members. Jerry knew them all but unlike Jung, he knew better than to use coke in their presence. In fact, as I’ve said before, he never used at all. And he didn’t allow his people to use either. He was in a business to make money, not to pleasure himself.
He did, however, have a beautiful Colombian girlfriend. She worked as a translator for an oil firm in Medellin. She remained his girlfriend, at least one of them, when he moved to Florida. He says she was intelligent and nice. And she enjoyed his status in Medellin.
I don’t know much about George Jung, other than what I read in the book and saw in the movie, but Jerry’s life seems to me to have been more dangerous and exciting.